Occasionally they even mention your name. And sometimes they get it wrong. On the jacket of Gregory Curtis's excellent book about prehistoric artists, The Cave Painters, I found this quote from my review of his earlier book, Disarmed: The Story of the Venus de Milo:
"Absorbing ... Enormously entertaining ... Curtis is a writer of generous wit, who packs his book with delicious portraits of scholars, writers, artists, and politicians who contributed to the mythologizing of the Venus de Milo."All very nice, and a good sampling of my opinion of the book. Except that the quote was attributed to:
--Chris Matthews, San Jose Mercury NewsI mean, I don't usually mind when people get my name wrong. I gently inform them that it's Charles, not Charlie or Chuck. (I even used to let myself be known as Chuck, until my wife told me the nickname always made her think of hamburger meat.)
But Chris Matthews? Of all the bloviating newstalkers I think he's the one I least want to be identified with. Well, no, I wouldn't prefer to be confused with Limbaugh or O'Reilly or Hannity, but that's because their politics are so foul. Chris Matthews irks me because he's such an addle-brained sexist, who can't get over the fact that Hillary Clinton is a -- gasp! -- woman, and who has embarrassing man-crushes on macho men like McCain and Fred Thompson and -- at least around the time of "Mission Accomplished" -- George W. And I hate watching Keith Olbermann grit his teeth when he's forced to share an anchor desk with Chris M.
I e-mailed Knopf about the mistake, and a very contrite publicist said that the editor who messed it up sent her apologies. Apology accepted.